web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



What is the Link between 17th of Tammuz, July 4th and Lincoln?

The USA was founded on the Fast Day of the 17th of Tammuz, July 4, 1776. On the same coincidental days in 1863, a rabbi’s sermon included a phrase that Lincoln later made famous.
Abraham Lincoln's use of the term'"four score and seven years ago' may have been borrowed from a rabbi's Fourth of July sermon

Abraham Lincoln's use of the term'"four score and seven years ago' may have been borrowed from a rabbi's Fourth of July sermon

A rabbi delivering a Shabbat sermon on the coincidental dates of the 17th of Tammuz and the Fourth of July in 1863 used the phrase “four score and seven years ago” before Abraham Lincoln made it famous, according to an historian.

British Prof. Marc Saperstein, who is a visiting professor of Judaic Studies at Yale, wrote in the Huffington Post  Wednesday that Rabbi Sabato Morais delivered his message in Philadelphia after the Battle of Gettysburg was fought but before its outcome was known.

“His sermon contains a phrase that might well have influenced the most celebrated speech in American history,” according to Prof. Saperstein.

The Fourth of July usually falls during the three-week period when Jews mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples. On an average of about once every 10 years or so, Independence Day falls on the first day of the three weeks, the Fast Day of the 17th day of Tammuz and which also was on the Sabbath in 1863.

Without knowing whether the Confederate army had won in Gettysburg , a victory that would have allowed it to threaten Philadelphia, Rabbi Morais said in his sermon that he was asked to refer to Independence Day.

However, since it was the 17th day of Tammuz, even though the fast is postponed because of the Sabbath, Rabbi Morais explained he could not deliver an encouraging address that was recommended by the Union League. It suggested that clergy quote the uplifting verse form Leviticus that is inscribe on the Liberty Bell: “”Proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

Instead, the rabbi chose the lament from King Hezekiah in Isaiah, “This is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and derision,” which he also meant as a reference to the Battle of Gettysburg before knowing the Union forces had won.

Rabbi Morais made sure to refer to Independence Day, 87 years after the United States was founded. “’I am not indifferent, my dear friends, to the event, which four score and seven years ago, brought to this new world light and joy,” he said in his sermon.

The King James translation of Psalms 90:10 translates a Hebrew in the psalm as “threescore and ten.”

Prof. Saperstein  explained that when Abraham Lincoln spoke to a small group of people three days later, he said that it was “eighty odd years” since the founding of the United States.

The professor wrote,  “Needless to say, some three months later, for the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery, Abraham Lincoln elevated the level of his discourse from ‘eighty odd years’ to “four score and seven years, our fathers brought forth to this continent,” possibly borrowing from the published text by the Philadelphia Sephardic preacher who, without knowing it, may have made a lasting contribution to American rhetorical history.”

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “What is the Link between 17th of Tammuz, July 4th and Lincoln?”

  1. The year before, upon the death of President Lincoln's 12 year old son Willie, Rabbi Sabato Morais delivered a touching sermon of comfort, for which Lincoln thanked Congregation Mikveh Israel in a letter dated May 13, 1862.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zisel Braun
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun Underway [photos]
Latest News Stories
Chaye Zisel Braun

The funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun began at midnight Wednesday night.

Car in Light Rail Runover

Al-Shaloudi was the nephew of the former Hamas chief and bombmaker Mohiyedine Sharif.

Aftermath of the vehicular terrorist attack at the light rail station near Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2014.

Arab media describes Hamas vehicular terrorist attack as ‘Palestinian ‘shot dead’ by Israeli police.’

Clashes in Silwan

Police tried to reach the home of the driver in Wednesday’s attack.

Hundreds of Jewish leaders from around the world who are part of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governor will convene in Ashkelon, one of Hamas favorite targets for rockets and missiles, next week. The Board had been set to meet in Mexico as part of its annual rotation amongst the world’s Jewish communities, […]

With all due respect to the IDF, since when is drug smuggling not linked to terror?

A demonstration by 10,000 in Isfahan for women’s rights has morphed into a protest against Iran’s regime.

Syria says it bombed the jets as they were landing in Aleppo.

The baby that was injured in the suspected terror attack this evening died in the hospital.

The train company’s video of the event in Jerusalem that left 8 people injured.

Haifa-based Elbit Systems won an $88 million from an unnamed Asian country for various projects, most of them for an F-5 aircraft avionics upgrade program and the supply of electro-optic and communications systems, Elbit announced Wednesday. The F-5 fighter jet has been in operation for more than 40 years four decades, and is used by […]

Wouldn’t be a lot easier if fanatic Haredim would simply charter their own planes?

One dead, 8 injured, 2 seriously when a car (purposely?) drove into a group of people waiting for a train in Jerusalem.

Please see this article for the latest update. Updates as soon as available. UPDATE 4, 6:42 p.m. Israel Time: Official word from Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman is that nine people were injured by a vehicle which struck people at the light rail station. The shots people heard were ones fired at the […]

A Canadian soldier was injured after being shot on Canada’s Parliament Hill.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
An IDF soldier patrolling Israel's border with the Sinai.

With all due respect to the IDF, since when is drug smuggling not linked to terror?

A novel solution for gender separation, even though this probably is a PhotoShop job.

Wouldn’t be a lot easier if fanatic Haredim would simply charter their own planes?

Ban’s only interest in Gaza is to continue UNRWA’s occupation.

ISIS propaganda video warns “our grandchildren will sell your sons as slaves.”

Let’s raise funds to send her to Syria where she can put some sense in her head, if it stays attached.

It is hard to believe, but Egypt is now dependent on Israel for gas instead of the other way around.

Barzilai hospital searched for its resident doctor-turned-terrorist after he disappeared and discovered that he changed professions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/what-is-the-link-between-17th-of-tammuz-july-4th-and-lincoln/2013/07/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: